Two good things happened to me today as I went to my new classroom to get it ready for the fall. First, I can actually raise or lower my room temperature as much as 8 degrees! This could be a first for me - a classroom that is not too hot or too cold. Second, the pencil sharpener worked! Last year the kids drove me crazy sharpening and sharpening and sharpening until there wasn't much pencil left.
This is the time of year that teachers' moods are hopeful, but sobered by unpacking materials that remind us of the specifics of our job that are so difficult. Special education teachers may have twelve students at many different levels of reading, math, social skills and daily living skills. It's so hard to walk the delicate balance between challenging them and making the learning too hard. (I don't think I've ever made it too easy, don't know why.) Hats off to Matt Damon for putting into words so much of what I believe about education.
Finally, I always try to have a theme for the year. One year, it was "Humans swim in an ocean of language," Mark C. Baker (The Atoms of Language. 2001) Please excuse the informal citation there. Last year, it was "Children of the Future". This year, because I am reading Paula Kluth's You're Gonna Love This Kid, I decided to put up "You're Gonna Love This Class!"